John Cadwalader (jurist) bigraphy, stories - United States federal judge

John Cadwalader (jurist) : biography

April 1, 1805 - January 26, 1879

Cadwalader in 1877. John Cadwalader (April 1, 1805 – January 26, 1879) was an American lawyer, jurist, and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Cadwalader was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 1, 1805. His mother was Mary Biddle (1781–1850) of the Biddle family. His father Thomas Cadwalader (1779–1841), grandfather John Cadwalader (1742–1786) and great-grandfather Thomas Cadwalader (1708–1779) were all military leaders. His maternal grandfather, Clement Biddle, was also a military leader, having served under George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1821, and read law in 1825. He was in private practice of law from 1825 to 1855. He was a lawyer for the Bank of the United States in 1830, and was vice provost of the Law Academy of Philadelphia from 1833 to 1853. He was a captain of the Pennsylvania State Militia in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1844, which was called out for the Philadelphia Nativist Riots. He was elected as a Democrat as a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania from 1855 to 1857. He did not run for re-election.

Cadwalader was nominated by President James Buchanan on April 19, 1858, to be a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He replaced John K. Kane (1795–1858). He was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 24, 1858, and received his commission the same day. He served in that capacity until he died on January 26, 1879. He was buried in the Christ Church Burial Ground at the old Christ Church in Philadelphia.

Family tree

He married Mary Binney (1805–1831), daughter of Horace Binney (1780–1875) who had two daughters. Daughter Mary Binney Cadwalader (1829–1861) married William Henry Rawle (1823–1889) in 1849; their daughter Mary Cadwalader Rawle (1850–1923) married Frederick Rhinelander Jones on March 24, 1870, who was the brother of Edith Wharton (1862–1937); their daughter in turn was landscape architect Beatrix Cadwalader Jones Farrand (1872–1959).

A second daughter was Elizabeth Cadwalader (born 1831), who married George Harrison Hare (1822–1857). After his first wife's death from complications of that birth, he married Henrietta Maria Bancker (1806–1889) who had six more children. They were: Sarah Bancker Cadwalader (born 1834); Frances Cadwalader (1835–1881); Thomas Cadwalader (1837–1841); Charles Evert Cadwalader (1839–1907); Anne Cadwalader (1841–1878); John Cadwalader (1843–1925) who married Mary Helen Fisher (1844–1937); and George Cadwalader (1845–1846). John Cadwalader Jr. (1874–1934) became trustee of the estate of his aunt Sophia Georgiana (Fisher) Coxe (1841–1926) which funded the MMI Preparatory School.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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